Opinion: Will Rick Perry Unravel the Strange Consensus on Public Education?

Monday, August 29, 2011

By all accounts, political polarization has made America ungovernable. Speaking in Holland, Mich., President Obama declared, "There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics." He went on to say that we were experiencing the "worst kind of partisanship" and "the worst kind of gridlock."

Already, pundits are speculating that the president is going to run for reelection much the same way Harry Truman did in 1948, by declaring that he can't govern with a "do-nothing congress."

Is bipartisanship truly dead? Perhaps not. If you focus on the debt crisis, the divide between Democrats and Republicans appears as unbridgeable as the Grand Canyon at its widest point. But that's not the case when it comes to public education reform, where a strange consensus has emerged between Republicans and Democrats on the issue that appears to defy political logic.

If the issue is education reform, put Governor Chris Christie in a room with Governor Andrew Cuomo; Joel Klein, the education reformer and lifelong Democrat; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; and the editorial boards of the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Post and New York Times, and you'd think you're at a family reunion straight out of "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet."

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